Thursday, February 18, 2010
Let it be
Other UK classical music blogs and Sir Paul McCartney are having a Diana moment over the reported closure of EMI's Abbey Road studios. Demands are being made to turn the studios into a museum and performance space, mourning fans are reportedly gathering outside the famous venue, and floral tributes on the railings must follow shortly.
All of which is of course errant nonsense. I have already commented here that it is sad to see the inevitable happening. But have my fellow bloggers and Sir Paul failed to notice that things are changing in the music industry? Virtual spaces - performing, recording, and retailing - are rapidly replacing physical spaces. No point in debating whether it is good or bad, it is happening.
Another music venue is the last thing London needs. On any one night many of the current classical music venues are dark, and most of the rest are hosting performances of Tchaik 5. Last week it was record shops closing, this week it is recording studios, next week it will be concert halls.
The thought of turning Abbey Road into a Beatles theme park for Japanese tourists is infinitely worse than letting a wrecking ball loose on it. Look what happened to the National Centre for Popular Music. EMI's present owners failed to understand that physical music spaces are a thing of the past, and they don't seem to be the only ones. As I have already said, safeguarding for the brave new virtual world the great recordings created at Abbey Road is far more important than saving bricks and mortar.
Header image shows the soon to be released Abbey Road protection society's fund raising CD. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk